One Year Lived: Do young Americans need to get out of America to be globally competitive?

One Year Lived book Adam Shepherd


A couple of years ago, Adam Shepard made the dramatic decision to test the American dream by starting from scratch – literally – building up a humble but comfortable life through hard work and without money, a home, or the use of his college degree. With his latest book he challenges himself again by leaving everything he knows to travel the world for a year.


To kick off the launch of One Year Lived, Adam is allowing us to share digital copies of the book with our readers over the next 48 hours. All you need to do is share this post on the social media channel of your choice or repost it to your blog, and tag us so we know to get in touch with you to provide the download code.


If you can answer yes to any of these questions, this book is for you:


1)      Have you been traveling for too long? Once you begin to take your global citizenship for granted, it’s fascinating to read the thoughts of someone on their first big journey. Yes, I remember being surprised by that and no, I don’t actually remember that one, but I probably felt the same. It’s a delicious way to reconnect with the wide-eyed exhilaration and flashes of clarity over things you now take for granted.

2)      Are you concerned about your country’s competitiveness? Adam proposes that American youth need to begin travelling immediately in order to compete in a global economy, but this argument can apply to many industrialized countries where people are both sheltered from extreme poverty and so absorbed in domestic issues that problems in the rest of the world appear to lack immediacy.

3)      Are you a twenty-something male? You’ll enjoy the vernacular and the candor.

4)      Do you like travelogues? (Something tells me yes if you’re reading this blog.) Adam charts an unforgettable year in seventeen countries, from mustering cattle in Australia to voluntourism in Honduras to bullfighting in Nicaragua to bungee jumping in Slovakia, with a great eye for detail and a quick-moving narrative style.


Though I have to disagree with his opinion on the Duke Blue Devils out of loyalty to my beloved, I enjoyed following Adam’s adventures: primarily because of the first reason I mentioned, but also because the second happens to be a pet issue. When Adam wrote to explain the premise and ask for help getting the word out, I said yes right away. Read it and be inspired.


  1. This book looks intriguing. Our library has Adam’s first book, I’ll start there. Thanks for the recommendation.

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